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Genomics. 2013 Jun;101(6):362-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Non-random arrangement of synonymous codons in archaea coding sequences.

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State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, 210093, China.


Non-random arrangement of synonymous codons in coding sequences has been recently reported in eukaryotic and bacterial genomes, but the case in archaeal genomes is largely undetermined. Here, we systematically investigated 122 archaeal genomes for their synonymous codon co-occurrence patterns. We found that in most archaeal coding sequences, the order of synonymous codons is not arranged randomly, but rather some successive codon pairs appear significantly more often than expected. Importantly, such codon pairing bias (CPB) pattern in archaea does not seem to completely follow the co-tRNA codon pairing (CCP) rule previously reported for eukaryotes, but largely obeys an identical codon pairing (ICP) rule. Further, synonymous codon permutation test demonstrated that in many archaeal genomes, random mutation alone is unable to cause the observed high level of ICP bias, which strongly indicates that selection force has been involved to shape synonymous codon orders, potentially meeting a global requirement to optimize translation rate.

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